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Prices In Sequential Auctions: Preliminary Evidence From Australian Rare Book Auctions

  • Stuart Kells
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    This paper examines price paths in sequential ascending auctions of identical rare books in Australia. Economic theory is inconclusive but suggests prices in sequential auctions of identical objects should follow flat or rising paths. The empirical literature is in several ways unsatisfactory, but points most commonly to falling price paths. Data from rare book auctions promise to overcome some of the problems in the empirical literature. A preliminary examination of rare book auction data from Australia indicates prices tended to be equal in sequential auctions of identical books in the 1980's and 1990's, and unequal in the 1970's. These results are consistent with the conjecture that more mature auction markets feature flatter price paths in sequential auctions of identical assets. Rare book auctions are a context in which further progress on sequential auctions is likely.

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    File URL: http://www.economics.unimelb.edu.au/downloads/wpapers-00-01/820.pdf
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    Paper provided by The University of Melbourne in its series Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number 820.

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    Length: 31 pages
    Date of creation: 2001
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:820
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne, 4th Floor, FBE Building, Level 4, 111 Barry Street. Victoria, 3010, Australia

    Phone: +61 3 8344 5355
    Fax: +61 3 8344 6899
    Web page: http://fbe.unimelb.edu.au/economics
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    1. Lusht, Kenneth M, 1994. "Order and Price in a Sequential Auction," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 259-66, May.
    2. Ashenfelter, Orley & Genesove, David, 1992. "Testing for Price Anomalies in Real-Estate Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 501-05, May.
    3. Engelbrecht-Wiggans, Richard, 1994. "Sequential auctions of stochastically equivalent objects," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 44(1-2), pages 87-90.
    4. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1989. "How Auctions Work for Wine and Art," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 23-36, Summer.
    5. Bernhardt, Dan & Scoones, David, 1993. "A Note on Sequential Auctions," Working Papers 829, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    6. David M. Cutler & James M. Poterba & Lawrence H. Summers, 1991. "Speculative Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 529-546.
    7. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
    8. Jones, C. & Menezes, F. & Vella, F., 1996. "Auctions Price Anomalies: Evidence from Wool Auctions in Australia," Papers 303, Australian National University - Department of Economics.
    9. Jane Black & David de Meza, 1992. "Systematic Price Differences Between Successive Auctionsare no Anomaly," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(4), pages 607-628, December.
    10. Chanel, O. & Gerard-Varet, L.A., 1996. "Auction Theory and Practice Evidence from the Market for Jewellery," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 96b05, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
    11. Engelbrecht-Wiggans, Richard & Kahn, Charles M., 1999. "Calibration of a model of declining prices in cattle auctions," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 113-128.
    12. Neil Gandal, 1995. "Sequential Auctions of Israeli Cable Television Licenses: The Morning Effect," Industrial Organization 9502001, EconWPA.
    13. Engelbrecht-Wiggans, R. & Menezes, F., 1993. "Sequential Auction with Continuation Costs," Papers 255, Australian National University - Department of Economics.
    14. Gale Ian L. & Hausch Donald B., 1994. "Bottom-Fishing and Declining Prices in Sequential Auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 318-331, November.
    15. Victor Ginsburgh & Pierre-Michel Menger, 1996. "Economics of the Arts: Selected essays," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/152420, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    16. Branco, Fernando, 1997. "Sequential auctions with synergies: An example," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 159-163, February.
    17. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1991. "Symposium on Organizations and Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 15-24, Spring.
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